All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians
SYOS

M/Pieces - Ligs Oh dear - tenor mouthpieces...

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Subscriber
Messages
5,945
You knew it had to happen....

Had my first lesson tonight since I bought the tenor. This came with a Vandoren mpc. Initially I tried a Vandoren 'blue box' 2.5 but had trouble getting it to sound cleanly. Swapped to a Rico Royal 1.5 as I assumed it was 'too hard'.

Spent a lot of time discussing this tonight and some exercises e.g. 'wow' test: play a constant open note (e.g. C#) then slacken and tighten embouchure to cause pitch to drop then rise. See where reed stops.

Teacher felt it likely that for a tenor, a harder reed would work better, but probably need a mpc with a narrower opening and a longer face than the Vandoren Optimum 4TL.

I was able to try a Selmer C* with a Java 3.5 and it was much cleaner with a much better tone.

So the challenge guys, is a suitable mpc, tip opening probably similar to the C*. Thoughts (that won't bankrupt me)?
 

Justin Chune

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,011
A Yamaha 5c is about the same as a Selmer C* and won't cost a lot. I prefer soft reeds on tenor sax and use Rico Royal #2. I hope you find what you are looking for.

Jim.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,074
If you can make the next meet I have a few mouthpieces you could try. A bari esprit, a rico metalite M7, a Selmer s80 C*, and a Vintage Selmer Airflow C*. My search stopped when I found the Lelandais.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Perhaps it's me, but all the Selmer pieces I've tried (on alto) seem to have had a shortish facing. If the C* worked for you, then why look further? But remember C* is just the tip size - there are a few different models. Commonest is the S80, but there's also the S90.... I like the soloist sound, but it has a lot of resistance.
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
Subscriber
Messages
3,552
You knew it had to happen....

Had my first lesson tonight since I bought the tenor. This came with a Vandoren mpc. Initially I tried a Vandoren 'blue box' 2.5 but had trouble getting it to sound cleanly. Swapped to a Rico Royal 1.5 as I assumed it was 'too hard'.

Spent a lot of time discussing this tonight and some exercises e.g. 'wow' test: play a constant open note (e.g. C#) then slacken and tighten embouchure to cause pitch to drop then rise. See where reed stops.

Teacher felt it likely that for a tenor, a harder reed would work better, but probably need a mpc with a narrower opening and a longer face than the Vandoren Optimum 4TL.

I was able to try a Selmer C* with a Java 3.5 and it was much cleaner with a much better tone.

So the challenge guys, is a suitable mpc, tip opening probably similar to the C*. Thoughts (that won't bankrupt me)?
Ron, I have a Yamaha 5C that I'm looking to sell. It's immaculate, about 6 months old and hardly played. Very easy to play though, and a good starter mpc. That nice Santa chappie bought me a Selmer soloist D which is equally easy to play, and has (to my ear) a more rounded tone, so I have no need of the Yamaha again! The Selmer is about 4 times the cost of the Yamaha though!
 

Chris

Well Known
Subscriber
Messages
3,821
You can wait and see Colin, or have a trip over to Bradford and the Woodwind Exchange, have a chat with Stuart. Take the sax with you and a packed lunch. Have some fun trying mouthpieces out, that is the best way to buy, try then first.

Chris..
 

Kingsleyhk

Senior Member
Messages
508

Targa

Among the pigeons
Subscriber
Messages
8,896
I think the 4TL is 0.090 which I would have thought of as more narrow than wide.
One was supplied with my ST8 and I used it without any problem for a couple of years with rico royal 2.5 and van doren blue 2.
Did the teacher recommend a width or mouthpiece or just narrower?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
I think the 4TL is 0.090 which I would have thought of as more narrow than wide.
One was supplied with my ST8 and I used it without any problem for a couple of years with rico royal 2.5 and van doren blue 2.
Did the teacher recommend a width or mouthpiece or just narrower?
Agreed. Optimum 4TL is a conservative design of mouthpiece, intended for classical music (according to Vandoren's catalogue) and has a fairly narrow tip opening and a medium face. It's a good quality 'piece within its design and I don't think it should present any limitations to your playing. Before chucking money at a replacement, I think you should analyse what it is about the existing mouthpiece that doesn't work for you. The others you're thinking about have a very similar design. My guess is that the real answer is practice, not a new mouthpiece.
 

trimmy

One day i will...
Messages
10,272
My guess is that the real answer is practice, not a new mouthpiece.
Agreed, also try a few reeds before changing the mouthpiece


Bari Esprit at £14 including shipping at Ackerman Music. It has an 0.085" tip (like a Link 5*) and has a rich and vibrant, yet mellower sound. It is made of hard composite so is virtually unbreakable. http://cafesaxophone.com/showthread.php?7767-Bari-Esprit-Tenor-Mouthpiece
Kind regards
Tom
You can't lose out at that price, it certainly won't bankrupt you !
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
I think the 4TL is 0.090 which I would have thought of as more narrow than wide.
One was supplied with my ST8 and I used it without any problem for a couple of years with rico royal 2.5 and van doren blue 2.
Did the teacher recommend a width or mouthpiece or just narrower?
The TL4 is 0.076" - can't imagine the mouthpiece can be too large! However the Selmer S80 C* is 0.071", which is seriously small. They both suit French Cut reeds (Vandoren Traditional, Rico Royal, Marca Superiere and other classical reeds). It sounds like it might be that trying out a few different mouthpieces might be a good idea - larger tip openings may be the answer. I started my Tenor on a Yani HR 6 (0.085") before switching to a Vandoren Java T55 (0.098") and on to bigger things. If you do try larger then do use softer reeds (Rico Royal 2 or similar.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
You can wait and see Colin, or have a trip over to Bradford and the Woodwind Exchange, have a chat with Stuart. Take the sax with you and a packed lunch. Have some fun trying mouthpieces out, that is the best way to buy, try then first.

Chris..
As the OP was looking at lower priced mouthpieces I doiubt whether many shops have a big choice. The usual candidates below £50 include the Yamaha 4C & 5C, the Rico Royal Graftonite, the Bari Esprit, The Runyon 22, the Clark Fobes Debut, the Hite Premiere, the Windcraft and Windcraft Etude (the latter my favourite at under £50). The chance of doing a live comparison is virtually impossible outside Howarth of London, though doing a live trial can be useful, though the stock will only cover certain mouthpieces. I mainly play mouthpieces by Soprano Planet, Phil-Tone, Mouthpiece Cafe, Drake, Saxscape and Phil Barone, most of which are not that available for test in UK, but are superior in my view/experience to what is usually available in UK (Selmer, Vandoren, Otto Link, Berg Larsen and a number of others.
 

Chris

Well Known
Subscriber
Messages
3,821
As the OP was looking at lower priced mouthpieces I doubt whether many shops have a big choice
Tom, unless you have been to the Woodwind Exchange, you wouldn't know that Stuart probably has the largest selection of all types of mouthpieces in the country. Both new and 2nd hand, from cheap to vintage. Including Phil Barone, Ed Pillinger, etc etc..Plus a storeroom full of every reed you can think of( within reason)

Chris...
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Never been there - would cost me about £45 in travel (cost of Bari Esprit Soprano, Alto & Tenor mouthpieces) but can trust members of Cafe Saxophone to inform me of such things. What you say is helpful, and I won't ring Stuart for a comprehensive list of what mouthpieces he does have.

Kind regards
Tom
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Subscriber
Messages
5,945
Perhaps it's me, but all the Selmer pieces I've tried (on alto) seem to have had a shortish facing. If the C* worked for you, then why look further? But remember C* is just the tip size - there are a few different models. Commonest is the S80, but there's also the S90.... I like the soloist sound, but it has a lot of resistance.
It was an S80 C* - same as my alto mpc.
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Subscriber
Messages
5,945
Thank you to everyone who has posted - very helpful.

I will probably pay Bradford a visit when I get a chance - I have been there once before out of sheer curiosity. It'll have to wait until I can book a day off work.

What came up in the lesson was that the Vandoren kept closing.Might be a case of getting the right reed. Sitting in the case at the moment are Rico Royal, Vandoren Java, Vandoren (blue box). I'll have a play.

We did notice that there is a very small nick in the tip rail.

I agree technique may also be an issue.
 

Colin the Bear

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,074
If it's closing too easily I would have thought a harder reed was indicated.

I liked the S80 on tenor with a C* lay. I play the same on Baritone.

I only retired the S80 after trying the Airflow, also in a C* lay.

The airflow got retired when I picked up a bargain Lelandais on ebay with the idea of selling it on. It turned out to be better than any of them for me.

I found a Vandoren classic blue 2.5 on the selmer C* worked for me . I use a a 2 on the alto if that gives you any frame of reference.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Don't forget the Vandoren blue/classics play hard. So the jump to the java isn't as big as you think.

If I was playing something as narrow as a C*, I'd be working up from 3's. On tenor I'm using RJS 2H on an 8* and these are too soft on a 7* Floridated Link (for me!)
 
Saxholder Pro
Help!Mailing List
Top Bottom